What the owners of ecommerce websites don’t understand about ecommerce SEO definitely hurts them. Here are twenty-five useful ideas for increasing organic search engine traffic for your ecommerce site.
1. Keep your products close to home.
When it comes to SEO, your homepage is one of the most important assets you have. Your homepage is the first page a search engine will look at, and it is the homepage that is your main source of PageRank.
Your goal should be to have every product no more than three clicks away from your homepage. Use SEO-friendly rollovers or increase the number of products listed on each page.
2. Write effective title tags.
The title tags on a page are a crucial part of your SEO. When crafting a title tag, create a tag that is a typical search term for your product.
For example, if you sell different types of snowmobiles, your title tags should reflect the different types of snowmobiles your business has for sale. You might have a title tag that says “used snowmobiles”, another that says “Yamaha snowmobiles”, and a third that “youth snowmobiles”.
3. Use Google AdWords keyword tool to help you find the right phrases.
To improve your title tags and overall e-commerce SEO, start with researching keyword phrases with the free Google AdWords keyword tool.
To find the best keywords for a given product page, first type in the search phrase you’re thinking of using for your product page. For this example, we’ll use the phrase “youth snowmobiles”.
What the keyword tool reveals is that this keyword phrase is very competitive, yet only generates approximately 400 searches per month. Therefore, “youth snowmobiles” might not be the best keyword phrase to use. Scrolling down the list, the keyword tool shows that “kids snowmobiles” has a similar amount of competition, but it generates almost 2,000 searches per month. This keyword phrase, then, is a little closer to the mark.
Further investigation shows that “mini snowmobile” has the same number of searches per month as “kids snowmobiles”, but – aha! — the competition is significantly lower. You’ve found an excellent keyword phrase.
If all this sounds like Greek to you, consider enlisting the help of a web developer who offers search engine optimization services.
4. Improve page file names.
Some ecommerce platforms automatically gave your page files strange, automated names, such as “www.yoursite.com/?ID=productnumber”. Change your settings to create links that include your keyword-rich title tag.
5. Tag your products.
For every product, add relevant tags that link back to similar products.
6. Offer free resources.
Both your customers and search engines will appreciate the extra resources you offer. In keeping with our snowmobile merchant example, one free resource you could offer are free articles on snowmobile safety.
7. Start a blog.
In the same vein as offering free articles about snowmobiles, you could also create a company blog in which you offer reviews, snowmobile maintenance tips, snowmobile vacation ideas, and everything else snowmobile related.
A blog offers you an opportunity to write custom content on your targeted keywords, thus increasing traffic to your site.
8. Submit press releases.
SEO for e-commerce websites isn’t that different from SEO for other websites, and that means backlinks are an important ingredient for your SEO success.
If you start a blog, write a press release about it and spread it around the different PR sites online. If you start to carry a new type of snowmobile, write a press release about that. If your snowmobiles have a special safety guarantee, write a press release. And if your company hits an important milestone – you guessed it – write a press release.
9. Write articles.
Likewise, article marketing is an easy, free way to get additional backlinks to your site. If you haven’t tried article marketing before, start with EzineArticles.com, the biggest player in the market.
10. Product reviews.
Product reviews, written by you or by your customers (which is even better), is yet another way to put content on your site that includes your keyword phrases. When customers submit reviews, it has more credibility with potential buyers, and you don’t have to do the work yourself.
11. Utilize Facebook.
Did you know Americans visit Facebook more than any other website – even more (on some days) than Google? Your Facebook fan page is another way to keep your products on the minds of your customers, while also providing one more way to improve your ecommerce SEO results.
12. Utilize Twitter.
After Facebook, Twitter is the second-biggest name in social media. You can set up a month’s worth of timely tweets in a matter of a half hour with a service such as Tweet-U-Later.
13. Utilize YouTube.
Here’s another interesting social media fact: after Google, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine.
That’s right – more people run searches on YouTube each day than on Yahoo! or Bing.
Create short product videos for YouTube, then give the videos a title that includes your keyword phrases. From there, you can link your video to your product webpage.
14. Integrate social media efforts with e-newsletters.
Once you get set up with Facebook and Twitter, you can integrate your monthly email blast with your social media. Some email services, such as VerticalResponse.com, allow you to integrate the two with the click of a button, so that a tweet or a Facebook post automatically provides a link to your hosted newsletter.
15. Submit the good stuff to Digg, StumbleUpon, and Technocrati.
Your social media strategy should also include submitting your best posts and articles to sites such as those listed above. One popular Digg or Stumble can generate a ton of traffic.
16. For heaven’s sake, use CMS systems.
“CMS” stands for “content management system”, and if you have ecommerce websites, you absolutely should be using one. CMS systems make it easy to update products and add content to your site.
One CMS system that might surprise you is the blogging software, WordPress. WordPress was originally designed for blogs, but it is versatile and powerful enough to use as an ecommerce CMS. Joomla is another popular CMS, although it is harder to customize for SEO purposes. Magento is a CMS system designed specifically for ecommerce, and Magento Mobile is the world’s first ecommerce platform for mobile devices.
17. Create links within your product descriptions.
Going back to our discussion earlier regarding keywords, take a keyword in your product description and make it a link to a similar product. Google loves keyword-rich links.
18. Avoid generic links such as “See more here”.
Instead of generic link names, change it to a link that includes your keyword phrase, such as “See more mini snowmobiles here”.
19. Optimize every product image for search.
By adding a keyword-rich phrase in the “alternate text” field of an image, the images themselves can draw additional traffic to your ecommerce websites.
20. Use H1 and H2 tags.
Including your keywords in heading and subheading tags is a must on each page.
21. Create a dynamic “Top Sellers” list.
On your homepage, use a bit of coding to automatically update a “Top Sellers” list. This will regularly update your homepage, which search spiders appreciate.
22. Create similar lists by category.
In the same way, create top sellers/most popular lists on the landing page of each of your most popular categories.
23. Watch what people search for internally.
If people search keywords from within your site, what are they looking for? The most frequently searched products should be featured prominently on your homepage.
24. Monitor your progress with Google Analytics.
You can’t improve your site if you don’t know how people are responding to it. Therefore, start using Google Analytics today.
25. If you don’t know how, ask an expert.
The final tip of twenty-five is this: if you can’t improve the SEO on your ecommerce site, find a company offering affordable SEO services and hire them. Your investment in e-commerce SEO services will pay you back tenfold.
We have helped several e-commerce firms including GammonVillage.com (World’s largest backgammon portal selling backgammon sets, mahjong sets and more) get top rankings, improve traffic and conversions at reasonable rates.
Get in touch with us if you want to improve your website / online business.